Revelation 5:4 (KJV) I Wept Much

Revelation 5:4 (KJV)
And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

 

Someone has suggested that the apostle is here a pattern to imitate of the one eager and teachable concerning the things of God. He seeks the Word of God and he longs for the one who can open the Word to him.

 

The best of us need God’s Word. We need:

  • to look upon it
  • to read it and, most of all
  • to be instructed in it

Having said that, the teacher we most need to sit under is no man of the earth, but the Lord of heaven.

 

  • To anxiously wait to hear from God,
  • To fear lest you might never be instructed of Him
  • To weep until God assures you that He will teach you;

this is a pattern worth imitating.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Revelation 5:4 (KJV) I Wept Much

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Judges 2:21 (KJV) Don’t Blame Joshua

Judges 2:21 (KJV)
I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

 

The Bible nowhere condemns or speaks negatively of Joshua personally. Joshua is one of the finest examples of leadership, spirituality, and faith we have in the Bible. But he was not a perfect man. Toward the end of his life I see two things that I believe were faults that may have led to Israel’s failure as it is recorded in the book of Judges. Joshua left:

Nations which vexed the people
I understand he could not have guaranteed complete victory in his lifetime but there is an indication, I think, that the push to drive out the Canaanites died long before Joshua did.

 

Israel without a new leader
When Moses realized that his days were few, he sought God for a new leader for the nation. Joshua did not do that. I do not see where he was ever commanded to do that, but I do not see where Moses was either. Moses was merely concerned enough for Israel to seek it for them. Joshua on the other hand, could have thought within himself that Israel now had their Promised Land, the tribes each had their own lot there, perhaps each tribe should develop their own leadership.

Right or wrong, I do not think there is any doubt that this lack of leadership in part led to Israel’s very rapid failure.

 

However, Joshua had not left them in moral and spiritual poverty. He had delivered to them,
A charge to serve the Lord

Joshua 24:14-15 (KJV)
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

Israel, in the end, was without excuse. They had the example of Joshua. They had the Word of God and His worship. It was their choice and no one else’s to fall away.

 

As it is always for us to choose for ourselves whether to serve the Lord or to fall away.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Judges 2:21 (KJV) Don’t Blame Joshua

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James 1:26 Useless Faith

James 1:26
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

 

There is a difference between our salvation and our religion.

 

Salvation is the securement of our soul into a heavenly position

It is the result of the reconciliation of our sins with a holy God through faith in the sufficient work of Christ on the Cross.

 

Religion is the resulting practice of our faith

It is the useful exercise of our spiritual position for the sake of others.

James here makes it perfectly clear that our religion can be vain:

  • empty
  • useless
  • of no real good

 

His application here has to do with the tongue.[1] When we do not bridle our tongues and bring it into submission so that our speech is “alway with grace, seasoned with salt” we do harm to some, we fail to encourage and help others and we make the practice of our faith (though not our salvation) useless.

[1] I do not think it to be the only way we might make our religion vain, but it is certainly a common way.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

James 1:26

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Joshua 4:2-3 Just for Today

Joshua 4:2-3
Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

 

The twelve men drew these stones out of Jordan and Joshua built the memorial alter from them long before they had won the Promised Land. They hadn’t even spent the night there yet. God had them do this as a memorial of the day because; any day later than this would be too late.

  • They would never be in the same place they were this day again.
  • They would never see the Jordan River stand on a heap again.
  • They would never spend their first night in the Promised Land again
  • They would never again look into the Promised Land with the same faith and expectation they did this day again

They needed a record of the day as the day unfolded. They probably could have, at a later date, figured out a way to get twelve stones from the river, but never would they have opportunity to remove them from the dry riverbed again. To look back and recreate the day would never be the same as to mark the day itself.

 

It is for this reason I believe that we ought to journal, mark and record our lives day by day. I do not know that today marks a change in the rest of my life but neither do I know it doesn’t. Every day is a treasured gift from God and ought to be viewed that way.

 

Pull out some stones just from today and build an altar here.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Joshua 4:2-3 The Value of Daily Journaling

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Let It Die Already

Hebrews 8:13 KJV

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

Years ago I pastored a young lady who had a childhood friend who was battling what turned out to be terminal cancer. Since this lady and her family were brand new in our church, they were excited about our church and anxious to get their friends to come there with them. One of those friends, of course, was this woman with cancer. She never came to our church but we got regular updates on her declining condition from the family who had recently joined.

 

The battle with the cancer was brutal. At one point the friend in our church blurted out to me, “Why doesn’t she just give up and die already?” I knew what she meant. I knew she meant well and that death would end the unbelievable suffering her friend was enduring. Still, it struck me odd, almost cruel. As far as I could tell this new member in our church was about as gracious and compassionate a person as I have ever been blessed to know. But she wanted this struggle to be over.

 

The incident reminds me of the very emotional struggle of replacing Old Testament laws with New Testament faith.

  • There is no question that the new is here
  • There is little debate that it is better

But some refuse to let the fight die.

 

As strange as it may seem, the gracious and the compassionate position is to urge the old to simply “vanish away.”

  • It is not unkind or hateful to urge Jews, especially those who claim to have faith in Christ, to make a clean break from the Old Testament Law.
  • It is an act of love to push Christians who are Gentiles by birth away from Judaistic rituals and toward a Bible believing New Testament Baptist church.

 

God has a plan that will one day restore Israel’s holy and rightful place. But that is the business of the future. Today’s business is to lead all men, Jew or Gentile:

  • to Christ,
  • to baptism and
  • to common fellowship in a local New Testament Bible believing Baptist church.

 

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Baptist Hebrews 8:13

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God’s Steps to Give Us His Word

Hebrews 2:1-3 KJV

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

 

The context before and after has to do with the veracity of God’s Word. God has taken such steps to give us His Word;

  • sure
  • secure
  • pure and
  • preserved

 

God’s efforts in getting His Word to us should spur us to earnest study, comprehension and practice.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 2:1-3 Bible is God’s Word

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May We Be Gracious

Titus 3:1-3 KJV

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

 

The apostle gives a list of responses the Christian ought to have toward the lost world:

  • Be subject to principalities and powers
  • Obey magistrates
  • Be ready to every good work
  • Speak evil of no man
  • Be not a brawler
  • Be gentle
  • Show meekness to all men

 

The motivation for these responses is our own past. Those things God delivered us from should forever compel us to reach those yet to be delivered. We can never allow ourselves to think we are above others. We are only separated by the grace of God; undeserved and unmerited but given to us.

 

As we have received grace, may we be gracious.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Gracious

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Another “Furthermore”

1 Thessalonians 4:1 KJV

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

 

Furthermore…

 

In the Christian life, there is always something new:

  • To learn
  • To practice
  • To grow in

 

The Christian life is never, or should never be static.

 

No Christian should ever allow himself or herself to feel like he or she has arrived; like there is nothing else to master in the faith. This life of faith is a matter of constant advancement. To stop growing is to stop living as a Christian. We never attain perfection in this world.

 

There will always be another “furthermore “.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Christian growth